One day, during a wild and restless search on the Internet for crumbs of evidence of a lost ancestor, I stumbled across an interesting website. It was one of thousands of individual websites by good-hearted family genealogists. Well-done and eye-catching, I stopped to peruse the gentleman's pages.

This particular genealogist lived in an area I was researching. I had been stuck, unable to go further on the ancestral line I was exploring, and I paused to read what the genealogist offered. For just a small amount of money for a few hours of research at the local library and courthouse, the genealogist would go where many out-of-state researchers could not. He would conduct research on your ancestor and provide copies of records found.

The offer was inviting and the cost was minimal. I gave it some consideration, then contemplated the statement at the end: "I have researched for many years on my own genealogy and have gone as far as I can go. Now I can help you with your research."

After years of research, my motivation for searching for ancestors seems to 'ebb and flow.' And lately, my 'ebb' has been lasting longer than my 'flow.' Feeling uninspired, I have found myself gravitating to other ways to spend my free time. Suddenly realizing my 'blah' state of mind, I forced myself to review my family tree on Ancestry.com.

Focusing on an ancestor, Abraham Hobbs b. 1813 in Meadville, Pennsylvania, I have had no clues to his parental lineage. Death records of Abraham have not been available and he was married on the 1850 US Census. But knowing he was likely born in the same village where he lived most of his life, I place the Hobbs surname in the search engine for 1810, 1820 and 1830. And what rolled out was an interesting name: Samuel Hobbs b. 1779.

A spark flittered up my spine as I stared at Samuel Hobbs' name. Placing his name in the search engine, records flowed but no connection to my ancestor, Abraham.

Frantically bouncing from website to website, a beautiful site for the Greendale Cemetery of Meadville, Pennsylvania popped up. This cemetery has been digitalizing all of their records of interments and it is the oldest cemetery for the village of Meadville.

"What the heck," I thought, putting the Hobbs surname in their record search engine. And low and behold, my 'ebb' flat lined and my 'flow' buzzed.

A list of seven Hobbs was presented, interned in the same lot and section including not only a senior Samuel Hobbs, but also my ancestor Abraham Hobbs.

Can I without a doubt, claim a definate connection between Abraham and Samuel?  No, but I now have something to grab hold of. An inkling of evidence that can propel my research on Abraham Hobbs' parental lineage that for years, sat void of any possible names.

I have since wondered about the genealogist that has 'gone as far as he can go' with his research. I suppose that is possible. Or perhaps one comes to a point in which it is not the ancestral information that has stopped, but the researcher's flow of motivation.

And now that my 'flow' has been revived, I inspirationally move forward with my ancestral search.

Keep searching for answers,

Cheryl